While I strive to write about things you might not otherwise read about, I've never had a "breaking news" story. While preparing for today's post, however, I came across what I believe to be a hack at Google. If it's not a hack, it's surely a mistake. If not a mistake, it's at least worth discussing.
Google makes available a series of icons for mapping with Google Fusion tables. There are about 200 icons that have names like "orange_blank" or "bars". You can view all the default icons here by clicking visualize ->map.
Cool huh? I thought so too.
In general the icons are pretty helpful. I was surprised to discover that the icon for "temple_ip" appears to be a swastika. Take a look:
I was looking at the symbols just a few days ago and didn't notice this, which leads me to believe it's not supposed to be there. That and the fact that it's incredibly distasteful - a not-often-employed trait for Google. I know the swastika is still used a lot to symbolize positive things, but it still seems strange that it is a featured icon image for Google. I left a comment; we'll see what happens!
So there's that. A bit disturbing, hopefully it will be fixed soon. Or maybe I'm just missing something. Feel free to let me know in the comment section!
Less "breaking" yet far more "exciting" is the news that the Fund For Peace has released its 2012 failed states index which Foreign Policy distributes. I've written about the index before but I'm hoping to use their data, along with my new knowledge of Google Fusion Tables and Google Maps to make a cool map or two. It won't be as cool as this one, but it'll be something I created :) That will be next week, unless more news breaks on the infamous Google swastika.